An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light, its people ever tempted by siren song, and a girl who falls for the wrong boy.
On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents, the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St Brandan. Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the sirens’ call will drown your body and steal your soul but the sacred light in the tower will chase the merfolk away …
Sound of Sirens is a dystopian/fantasy/paranormal novel, the first book in a trilogy (Tales of Skylge). It is based on the real island of Terschelling in the author’s native country of the Netherlands. The background and setting therefore seem utterly believable and are described vividly. I really felt as though I was there on that flat, windblown island with its dykes and the endless sea. I could hear the surf and taste the brine in the air – lovely!
The heroine, Enna, is an impulsive teenage girl, one of the oppressed islanders who are not allowed to use electricity and have to live hard lives on the outskirts of town. She’s a bit of a rebel and dares to go her own way. She falls in love with Royce, a boy from the ruling class, and he’s intrigued by her and begins to question everything he’s always been told. I liked their interaction, her courage in standing up to him, and the attraction between them sizzled.
Enna’s older brother is involved in a resistance movement and she gets mixed up with this as well. When there is a brawl in town during a yearly festival, pitting islanders against the ruling class, she and her brother are in the thick of things. Enna is feisty and outspoken, a little too impulsive for her own good, but the reader is rooting for her. Can she and Royce ever overcome the social barriers between them? I won’t do any spoilers, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out.
The author’s world-building is great and drew me into the story straight away. I was intrigued by the Skylgian language (which really exists and was a bit like Anglo-Saxon) and this distant island, which I was only vaguely aware of (I had heard the name). The addition of merfolk added to the ever-present sense of danger, already high because of the secrets of the resistance. There is also the fear of detection whenever Enna and Royce meet, as such interaction between the two social classes is forbidden. All in all, a thrilling read!
As this is a series starter, there is obviously much more to come – a continuation of the secret resistance movement, revelations about the island’s past, more about Enna’s relationship with Royce and the ever-present threat of the merfolk. I was hooked and will definitely go in search of the next two books in the series.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, Sound of Sirens is currently free on Kindle. Thank you to the author for alerting the Piranhas to this offer.